THAT famous line by dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) in Dirty Dancing sprung to mind when News Of The Area caught up with the Nelson Bay Bootscooters this week: “Nobody puts Betty Baker in the corner”.
The sprightly boot scooter had a double celebration with the Nelson Bay Bootscooters gathering to celebrate her 90th birthday, as well as honouring Betty with life membership to the group she has danced with for 23 years.
Betty Baker attributes her longevity and good health to dancing.
With three members of the group in their nineties, the health benefits are certainly hard to dispute.
“I like all the girls and the dancing; I’ve met friends and it is great to catch up with them each week,” Betty Baker said.
Betty dances with the Nelson Bay Bootscooters twice a week at Wests Diggers Nelson Bay.
Her daughter, Denise Baker, is also involved with the group.
Boot scooting is a dance form that involves individuals lining up and following a pattern of choreographed steps to music.
President of the Nelson Bay Bootscooters, Mel Smith, said the great thing about boot scooting is that you can come on your own, unlike other forms of dance that require a partner.
“It is a wonderful, social time,” Mrs Smith said.
The lithe ladies learn new dances and refine their skills each week.
“People often mistakenly think it is only country and western dancing,” member Colleen Nash said.
But the dances also involve contemporary music and more variety than traditional country and western line dancing.
The Nelson Bay Bootscooters have showcased their skills at numerous events and they will be performing again on the June Long Weekend at the Bluewater Country Music Festival.
In keeping with tradition, the longest line dance will feature on the annual event’s final day.
By Jo FINN